Canker ulcers are sores in the oral cavity that occur in 20% of people. They are more common in women and younger populations. Stress, weak immunity, anemia, gastric and intestinal diseases and the use of certain medications can affect the development of canker ulcers.
They most commonly appear on the tongue, cheeks or soft tissue in the oral cavity, and do not appear on hard gums or teeth. They can be small, large and herpes-shaped.
The canker ulcers can be up to one centimeter wide and last for an average of 7 to 14 days before they heal without leaving scars. Canker ulcers appear on the mucous tissues of the cheeks or lips. Large canker ulcers are more than one centimeter long and can last from 4 to 6 weeks. They heal less slowly because they make a deeper wound.
Herpes-like or herpetic canker ulcers are 1 to 2 millimeters in size and appear in groups. They most commonly appear under the tongue and on the mucous membranes of the cheeks and tongue. They resemble herpes but have nothing to do with it. Unlike herpes, they are not accompanied by fever or body aches.
To reduce symptoms, brush your teeth carefully. Use a soft brush. If you have a canker ulcer, avoid hard foods like bread crumbs, chips, hard meat or fried fish. They can further irritate the ulcer and aggravate the pain. Avoid all soft and hard drinks, such as alcohol and juices. The same goes for sour and strong spices like vinegar and tabasco sauce. Hot foods and drinks also worsen symptoms. It is thought that there may be a consequence of canker ulcers when using certain types of toothpaste, so you can check the toothpaste you are using to prevent it, dentists say.